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Peterson: Steve Prohm is about to sign Iowa State’s best basketball recruiting class since 2010

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Lindell Wigginton is out to make a name for himself at Iowa State, not live up to Monte Morris’ legacy.
Randy Peterson/The Register

AMES, Ia. — You love lists — especially if you’re hot-and-heavy into recruiting. You want to see where “your guys” stack up on your playground — which in Iowa State’s case, is the Big 12 Conference. You want to compare. You want to brag — if there’s something to brag about.

Well, have at it, Cyclones basketball fans:

The 2018 class that can start signing national letters of intent on Wednesday is the program’s best since the 2010. Here’s where previous Iowa State classes have ranked among Big 12 peers, according to 247Sports. 

2017: Fifth

2016: Fifth

2015: Ninth

2014:  Ninth

2013: Fifth

2012: Fifth

2011: Ninth

2010: First

Coach Steve Prohm’s quartet of recruits, headlined by 6-foot-5 wing Talen Horton-Tucker, was ranked fourth in the Big 12, according to 247Sports on Tuesday morning. That’s pretty good, considering Kansas, Texas and West Virginia were the top three. And again, here’s your list for 2018:

1.  Kansas

2.  Texas

3.  West Virginia

4.  Iowa State

5.  TCU

6.  Texas Tech

7.  Oklahoma State

8.  Baylor

9.  Oklahoma

10. Kansas State

Iowa State has three of the top 15 recruits expected to sign in the next week with a Big 12 school. The others are Kansas (of course) and Texas.

Horton-Tucker’s composite ranking is 12th among the conference’s top 15, Zion Griffin’s is 13th and Tyrese Haliburton’s is 15th.

Where’s George Conditt? The 6-10, 200-pounder might spend as much time hanging out in strength and conditioning dude Pete Link’s weight-lifting room as he spends on the court. Conditt still must grow into his tall body; that’ll consume most of his freshman season.

We live in a list world in Sports. We analyze. We over-analyze. We predict the future of players we haven’t even seen in person.

But if you’re wondering just where Horton-Tucker, Haliburton, Griffin and Conditt fit with the 2018-19 team, here’s more speculation.

Eight players averaged 16 or more minutes on Prohm’s team last season, seven averaged 18 or more minutes two seasons ago, and 10 could be significant pieces of Iowa State’s 2018-19 rotation:

Lindell Wigginton, Marial Shayok, Nick Weiler-Babb, Solomon Young, Cameron Lard, Horton-Tucker, Michael Jacobson, Zoran Talley, Terrence Lewis and Griffin.

That’s a solid, and maybe a bit bulky, rotation. Wigginton will be in his second season as an elite point guard. The 6-6 Shayok would be starting this season, if he didn’t have to sit out after transferring from Virginia.

Lard, we’re told, is a 6-9 Jameel McKay. Jacobson, a Nebraska transfer, is a rebounder. Babb will be a senior. Young will be a junior.

Get the point?

Prohm’s previous recruiting class was good. Back-to-back stacked recruiting classes could translate to success — again, if you subscribe to the rankings.

Certainly, Iowa State’s basketball future looks as bright as the football program’s future. Two young coaches, two energetic staffs — there’s reason for excitement around the university’s major revenue-producing sports.

But back to Iowa State’s high ranking in 2010. Coach Greg McDermott’s class was better than even Kansas, which has been a gimme to Big 12’s regular-season title lately. The Cyclones’ national ranking was behind only Saint Joseph’s, Alabama, Ohio State, Arizona, BYU and Marquette.

The class consisted of Melvin Ejim, DeMarcus Phillips. Jordan Railey, Eric McKnight, and Calvin Godfrey. That’s superstar Ejim — and four others that didn’t see even their senior Cyclones seasons.

Welcome to the zany world of recruiting rankings, but that’s OK. Everyone needs points of comparison.

Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been with the Register for parts of five decades. Randy writes opinion and analysis of Iowa State football and basketball. You can reach Randy at rpeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter at @RandyPete.

Source: Des Moines Register

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